Schaffer owners: Toyota Material Handling (NSW)
Industry type: Equipment supply and maintenance
Location: Beresfield, Hunter Valley, NSW
Model: Articulated loader 3150 (our skidsteer loader substitute) - customised
Accessories: 4-in-1 bucket
Usage: Cleaning up waste under the conveyor belt at an aluminium smelter
Requirement: A nimble yet robust machine to cope with the hot dusty environment in the aluminium smelter

To call the workplace "tough" at the Hydro Aluminium smelter near Newcastle in NSW is an understatement. It's dusty, hot and hostile - and the plant operates 24 hours a day.

Toyota Material Handling have a contract to supply and maintain mobile machinery at the plant, so when service co-ordinator Steven Richards needed a new machine to clean up underneath the smelter's carbon anode butt crusher, he knew they would need muscular performer.

Steven and his team chose a Schaffer 3150 (skidsteer loader substitute) - and had it customised to suit the rigorous demands of the job. Schaffer's German factory carried out modifications to cope with the heat such as sealing all accessible electrics with a silica gel pack. Electric relays and solenoids were minimised by converting the machine to single-speed transmission (two-speed is standard) and manual auxiliary controls.

Tyres were made solid to improve heat and impact resistance, and a Murphy engine protection system was added to guard against engine overheating and low oil pressure.

"It has a non-turbo motor, which is good, because turbos don't last long in a smelter," Steven adds. "It's a very robust, well-built articulated loader compared to other makes.

"The ergonomics are great. It's comfortable, safe, visibility is excellent and it's easy to drive. We've used it non-stop with only routine maintenance and the parts back-up is excellent."

The success of the customised Schaffer 3150 (skidsteer loader substitute) articulated loader in this challenging setting opens the way for other industrial and mining usage.


Engine: V2203 Kubota - 50hp
Auxiliary hydraulic flow: 60 litres/minute at 2900psi
Total width: 1400mm
Bucket pivot point: 2500mm
Custom options: Sealed electrics, Murphy shutdown gauges, foam-filled tyres, rubber bracing, FOPS